“There are other forces at work here. They may not be political forces – I don’t know where they’re coming from, but they’re there and they’re active and they have influence.” – Remark made by Thurles born Fergus O’Dowd Fine Gael TD, – formerly the Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources and Environment, Community & Local Govt, with responsibility for the NewEra Project.
Tipperary TD and Minister Alan Kelly is about to give away the exemption Ireland holds from directly charging for domestic water under EU Law. Unless he desists and renews Ireland’s water exemption by Jan 1st 2015, it will lapse. This ‘give away’ will make it more difficult for future governments to abolish direct charges for domestic water.
Mr Seamus Healy TD, in a recent Parliamentary Question, has called on Minister Kelly to immediately renew this exemption, so that the power to charge or not to charge for domestic water will remain with the Irish people and Dáil Éireann, into the future.
A copy of Seamus Healy’s request in a Parliamentary Question to Minister Kelly is carried here below.
Mr Healy stated; “Former MEP, Kathy Sinnott explained in a recent opinion piece in the Irish Times (Nov 21, 2014): “In 2000, the Irish government brokered this exemption and the inclusion of article 9.4 which formally and legally absolves Ireland and only Ireland from the requirement to charge for domestic water.” As an MEP I brought this to the public’s attention in 2008 when the last government was introducing water charges for schools. On April 17th of that year minister John Gormley stated in the Dáil that “The only exemption available to Ireland, and availed of, is contained in article 9.4 and relates to dwelling houses using water for ordinary household purposes.”
This government has no mandate to give away our exemption from domestic water charges. The Labour Party promised in the last election that it would prevent Fine Gael from introducing domestic water charges. Now a Labour Minister is not only introducing the charges, but is giving away the power of our parliament to abolish them in future. Irish democracy is being undermined by Minister Kelly and his government,” he stated.
“I call on all Oireachtas members from Co Tipperary including Senator Landy (Lab) and Minister Tom Hayes to stop this national betrayal now,” said Mr Healy!
Question for Written Answer by Seamus Healy TD
To ask the Minister for Environment and Local Government, Alan Kelly TD,
“If he will confirm that there is, at present in 2014, no requirement for charges to be imposed on domestic dwellings for the use of water from public mains for domestic purposes under the EU Water Framework Directive and that article 9.4 formally and legally absolves Ireland from the requirement to charge for domestic water.”
Also “If he will ensure on behalf of the Irish Government that this exemption is renewed before Jan 1,2015 so that Irish governments will retain the power to charge or not to charge for the use of water for domestic purposes into the future and if he will make a statement on the matter?”
Signed: Seamus Healy TD – 087-2802199.
For those of you who feel strongly about this issue; you should email (Copy & Paste) this “Parliamentary Question” directly to Mr Kelly (email@example.com ), however, from my own experience dealing with his Tipperary office, do not expect to receive a reply, as Mr Kelly and his staff are shy and highly unlikely to respond.
For the foreseeable future local people will now have to travel to the Nenagh or Roscrea Registration offices to register a birth, death or marriage.
This unwelcome scenario has been brought about due to the sudden and unexpected closure of the Thurles Registration office situated currently within in the present St. Mary’s Health Centre, at Nenagh Road, in the town.
With this Thurles office’s principal functions now removed, this will lead to only a very limited, if any, service being offered to residents of Thurles and its immediate hinterland.
Thurles Registration office has long been a very important service, not just providing an easily accessible all round and very professional service, but also allowing persons, particularly the elderly within the area, to register their many legal obligations affecting events of some major importance within their everyday lives.
Persons recently bereaved, the parents of new born children and couples seeking marriage licences must now travel some 33.9km (Roscrea) or 37.3km (Nenagh), a substantial and unnecessary distance, to carry out these basic, yet most important of statistical tasks.
It would appear, yet again, our locally elected Tipperary Dáil Éireann representatives continue to remain absolutely powerless, when it comes to protecting even the smallest interests within Thurles town.
A Judge in Clonmel Court has ruled this morning that the former Fine Gael TD and Minister Michael Lowry should now stand trial on five charges relating to Income Tax matters.
Justice Tom Teehan gave his verdict on a number of applications made by Mr Lowry’s defence team at Clonmel Court this morning. Latter had previously argued that Mr Lowry could not get a fair trial.
Council for the State Mr Remy Farrell had made the claim that a jury in Co Tipperary could be biased, objectively or subjectively, having given Deputy Lowry their first preference votes during past General Elections. Mr Lowry’s legal team had claimed that their client had no liability for the alleged taxes being sought and this fact was backed up by two sets of expert accountants.
The sixty year-old independent Tipperary TD and native of Holycross now faces five charges, including knowingly completing incorrect tax returns on a number of dates between 2003 and 2007.
Judge Teehan, who rejected the defence arguments, has directed that the trial will now go ahead before Dublin Circuit Court at a date as yet to be agreed.
In a televised address last night, US President Barack Obama outlined the executive action he plans to take, which will offer work permits to millions of undocumented people, potentially including thousands of Irish people, some natives of Co Tipperary, latter who ‘live in the shadows’ and are currently unable to return to this country for fear of detection by Deportation Enforcement Officials.
Today Mr Obama will sign into law a series of measures that will protect these illegal immigrants from deportation and indeed the video hereunder is well worth viewing in its entirety.
The executive action he outlined in the video shown above falls into three groups: changes to enforcement, a new temporary legal status for illegal immigrants and new visa categories.
Under these new plans, those who are deemed to be in the US illegally for at least five years, who have children who are either US citizens or legal residents and who pass a criminal background check, will be entitled to full protection from deportation. Enforcement officials will only deport those convicted of serious criminal offences and not those previously arrested for minor offences.
Former undocumented persons will also be allowed to apply for a work permit if they register for taxes and social security.
There will be new visas for students who complete science and technology degrees and for entrepreneurs who have sufficient capital funding and are in a position to create employment.
These new changes are expected to come into force from early next year.
Tipperary Fine Gael TD Mr Noel Coonan fears that Ireland faces “an ISIS situation” if the more extreme elements of the Water Charge Protests are not “nipped in the bud.” Mr Coonan also claims that protesters in Dublin are “like parasites” and said, quote, “they live off country people as they have never acknowledged the role of country people.”
Gardaí are now understood to be investigating claims that a death threat was made to Mr Noel Coonan following these comment by him in the Dáil yesterday. This leaves currently two leading Tipperary politicians, currently living in fear for their lives and as such must surely influence Fine Gael leaders into the calling of a General Election.
Aside from this most regrettable threat, but in relation to the provision of clean drinking water one must ask the question; is this the same TD who, when in opposition and Fine Gael’s Spokesperson on CAP Reform and who in January 2011, called on the then Minister for Agriculture to lift restrictions that prevented farmers from spreading slurry during the rainy season, which eventually would end up in our clean water sources? “Farmers are ruled by ridiculous calendar deadlines imposed by this out-of-touch Government. Minister Brendan Smith TD must ease restrictions on slurry spreading and allow the farming community to be dictated by current weather conditions which are perfect for spreading. Would it make a huge difference if the Government permitted farmers to spread two weeks ahead of schedule?” asked the Tipperary North/South Offaly Deputy.
Is this the same TD who in 2012 welcomed colleague Minister Phil Hogan’s decision to announce extensions to the periods for the application of certain fertilisers?
Note: I tell you this purely for the further education of all Mr Coonan’s believed urban ‘ISIS Protesters’ currently residing in Dublin; apart from the normal nitrates and pesticides applied to crop-land, if not spread responsibly on farmland, underground water can easily become contaminated by microbes or germs from the spreading of slurry and from waste-water treatment systems. Slurry contains cow urine and cow faeces; latter which includes chemicals and medicines e.g. de-wormers and anti-biotics, together with chemicals used to clean cowshed floors.
Do you, the people of Tipperary, believe that Mr Noel Coonan is capable of answering or even defending truthfully the specific defined accusations put by his assumed ‘ISIS Lieutenant’ Ms Clare Daly in Dáil Éireann two days ago, (Video Shown above) or indeed was Mr Coonan even present, sitting in the Dáil Chamber, when she made her heart felt speech on behalf of those earning less than €10,000 per year? Is it fair that a person earning €10,000 per year should pay this government the equivalent of one weeks wages for water, when Mr Coonan is asked to pay exactly the same sum taken from a salary which is at least some nine to thirteen time greater, when his annual share of some €7,000,000 in politicians expenses is divided up, latter contributed by Irish taxpayers?
Does this the same Fine Gael TD truly believe that the over 1,000 water protesters, organised by the Thurles Right to Water group, many his supporters, that took to the streets of Thurles on November 8th last, were really ISIS Members?
Is this the same Fine Gael TD who despite many years in Dáil Éireann (2007) together with his Labour colleagues and others; all reigning during continuous local factory closures, failed consistently to attract even one job opportunity to the Thurles area, but weekly, continuously ‘WELCOMES’ the achievements and general funding opportunities put in place by his senior Government Ministers, as if these announcements were some way influenced by his intervention?
Surely, never has a Coalition Government, of which Mr Coonan is a member, so earned Irish peoples total distrust so quickly, so absolutely and so inherently as this present Fine Gael and Labour grouping.
Thank God, Mr Coonan has only spoken in 22 committee discussions and Dáil debates in the last year — well below the average among serving TDs.